Saturday, August 30, 2003

Do the math

I used to be 25 times as old as Lisa. Now I'm 1.64 times as old. As of today. Happy birthday, Lisa! Friends have warned me that when she catches up with me it will be bad news for me. Not if I lie about my age.

Finally a busy day at Skein. Two students waiting for me when I got there yesterday plus three or four more throughout the afternoon. I got my own knitting out but literally only worked four stitches. Ann Mary and I didn't have a chance to say hello properly until about an hour before the shop closed.

I've finished the Christmas stocking but need to block it before I sew the back seam.
Bess sent me a idea for doing the intarsia in the round which I will do on the next one, if there is one. I'm also getting very close to finishing the Interlacements top. I have 52 rows to go. The second Wildfoote sock is started, but just barely.

So it's a holiday weekend. Hooray for everyone who gets to take advantage of it. Skein is always closed on Monday so for me it's just the same as always. But it still feels like a holiday. People just seem a little more festive. Of course the slightly cooler weather helps. Labor Day weekend is often one of the hottest of the year but this time around it seems like it will be pleasant. But Monday's two days away so things could change. I hope it's a good time for everyone!

My Comments seems to be down. I notice that others who use YACCS are also down. So at least I have company. If you have something compelling to say please send me an email. I love email.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Final Friday

Here it is the end of August. Seems like it's been a long month. Probably because it's been so slow at Skein and so many of my projects have been taking so long.

So a few pictures of my next project.

The newest European fashion knitting magazines. I'm still deciding if I want the new Rowan magazine but these two are so full of exciting stuff that I didn't want to miss out.

This is Monnalisa from Lanas Stop. It's a mixture of cotton, linen, rayon, acrylic and nylon. Oh, and some polyester. Guess they couldn't find any wool. The core yarn is sort of a crimped, loosely plied strand. It's been wrapped with two very fine black threads. Knits 11 sts to 4 inches on US size 10. Comes in 100 gram skeins with 163 yards. I got 12. Hope that's enough because that's all we got in.

Lanas Stop is a Spanish company that may be part of Anny Blatt or maybe it's just handled by the same guy who reps Anny Blatt.

And here's what I'm going to knit. Not very complex, just some 3X3 ribbing and stockinette. Raglan shaping. And just the raw edge at the neck. The pattern is from the Katia book. Hope I don't have to mess with the pattern too much but I think their extra large might just be too small for Robert.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Another new book

I just ordered the Verena magazine of knits for men. I have no idea what is in the magazine or if it's even in English. I don't read or speak German so I hope there are at least charts if it's in German.

I may have found a pattern for Robert's Christmas sweater. It's in the newest Katia magazine (for adults). I don't have the book yet or the yarn. As soon as I get them I'll try to patch something together to show.

It's still quiet at Skein. No students yesterday, just a couple of quick questions. A couple of new customers one of whom broke the all time single transaction record. And all for scarves. The other one might have tied the all time low, a single pack of markers. But she paid cash.

Oh, another new book I want. The newest Gedifra magazine. If you like shaggy, fringey things you've got to go find this mag. I was a little surprised at all the fur collars. Turns out they're made from long haired sheep fleeces, just dyed to look like fur.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

No knitting content

I just don't have anything new to report on the knitting scene. Like, how many times do you need to hear that I'm working on the Interlacements top, and the Wildfoote socks and the current shop sample Christmas stocking? Maybe soon there'll be something new to complain about.

New yarns are gradually being introduced to the sales floor. I don't know how Ann Mary does it but she's finding space here and there to fit stuff in. Sometimes we sell out of the back room. When people need to use the restroom they get to see all the stuff that's waiting and just don't want to wait until it's on the floor. Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

New book

Last week, I think on Thursday, I ordered The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman from It came yesterday. Now that's really fast! It's a great book and will certainly come in handy. She does a great job of explaining things and includes some pluses and minuses about the different techniques. Oh, I saved over $10 based on the suggested retail price. Border's had the book at the suggested retail so I feel quite smug.

I completed one more pattern repeat on the Interlacements top yesterday. Twenty six rows. Two more repeats to go and then I'll be shaping the neck. I don't think I'll make my self-imposed deadline but I won't be far off and I don't see Lisa again for another two weeks so I should be done by then. I'm going to do the toe shaping on my Wildfoote Handpaint socks this morning. I loose track of where I am if I try to work on it at Skein. Maybe I'll have time to cast on for the second sock.

Trying to find some inspiration for a sweater for my friend Robert. I've been going through some old magazines and books. It's been so long since I looked at some of these that it's like having a stack of new books. All those patterns that I swore I'd make. Fun to visit them again. But still no pattern for Robert.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Starting over

Well, I got most of the intarsia part of the Christmas stocking done and decided it was really terrible. Ripped that out and am going to duplicate stitch the design. The yarn in the kit is pretty awful. Ann Mary says it's a craft yarn. But I think duplicate stitch will make the thing less wonky.

I've been fussing and fuming the past few days over what to do with all the stuff I have accumulated. I don't think there's any way I will ever use all the yarn in my stash and I keep getting more. Most of the stuff is in cardboard boxes so I can't even see it. I'm thinking of getting some of those plastic coated wire storage units that I've seen popping up around the blogs. I don't know if I have enough wall space for the amount I would need. But I'll get a few sets and see how far I get.

A bigger problem though is what to do with all this furniture. My condo is pretty small. Most of what I have would be loosely described as Federal but I also have several pieces that are American Eastlake. Now I'm very big on an eclectic look but these two styles just don't work together. It's like trying to combine an Aran knit with Fair Isle. I'm not willing to part with anything.

I mostly blame my friend Robert for this. Before he started his current pet grooming business he was an interior designer. Very big in the Palm Springs area doing winter homes for wealthy midwesterners. Lots of chrome, glass and white lacquer. By the time I met him he had stopped designing but was and is still very into decorating. I had never paid much attention to stuff like that. It didn't take long for me to get addicted. Robert is of the more is more school. At one point I had five sofas which even Robert thought was a bit much. I don't have any sofas now but I have way too many chairs.

I don't know what I'm going to do just yet. Something has to go! But I'm going to start over with the stash. Maybe the loom and spinning wheel can find new homes.

Saturday, August 23, 2003


it's been a pretty quiet week here and at Skein. It was a little busier yesterday. I guess the back to school crush has kept people away. I did see four or five students yesterday who are continuing with their current projects and hope to see some more today. I haven't done much on the Christmas stocking yet. The cuff is done and I've just started the leg. I'll start the intarsia sometime today unless we're really busy.

I used to really enjoy going shopping but now I find it pretty boring, except yarn shops. Had to go out last night to find something for Lisa's birthday. Can't tell you what I got though. And I went to Macy's. You sure don't get bothered a lot by salespeople there. The biggest problem is finding someone to ring you up. And I went to Border's to see what was new in knitting books. Not much. There were some new titles but nothing I'd really use. I think I'm just not a shopper anymore.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Thanks to Ann I have a copy of The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques on its way to me. I'm not fond of finishing partly because I don't think my finishing looks all that great. Plus it takes me so long to do it. Anyway, getting this book is going to make things a lot better. Or that's the plan. Thanks, my enabling friend.

Speaking of enabling. When Ann Mary made that scarf a couple of days ago I told her that when Mendy saw the yarn she'd have to have some. She now has it and the size 35 needles to make the same scarf.

She (Mendy) dropped by Skein yesterday to show me some yarn she got on EBay. She was very disappointed with it as it was actually a lot different from the picture. I have to agree. I looked at the picture and this yarn, while it's the same colorway, just doesn't look like the picture. It's thinner and has a much harder finish that the photo shows. These people have a website where you can buy direct but they also sell on EBay. I haven't ordered from them myself but I was about to. Now I'm not so sure. I'll have to check again and see if they have a return policy that will allow me to send back stuff if I'm not happy with it. They have such great colorways so I'm hoping this was just an exception.

So tired that I didn't do any knitting last night. I did a revise of the pattern I'm writing for one of my students. She reknit her gauge on a smaller needle and likes the look better. No big deal, yet. The thing about Sweater Wizard is that you have to know how to work with its limitations. And that's not easy for new knitters. So you have to be able to make adjustments for things like stitch pattern and shaping. This particular knitter doesn't ever make anything in the yarn called for, or with the pattern as written. I think I may be pulling my hair out by the time this sweater is done. Well, if I had any hair.

Fall is still a month away, according to the calendar, but it's already beginning to show up. The daylight hours are getting shorter and even though it's still warm there's a definite change in the feel of the air. There were actually a few sprinkles yesterday, on my freshly washed and waxed car. I know we'll have some more hot days but Fall is on its way, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Thursday, August 21, 2003


I finished the shop sample and it looks good but we didn't have a button that worked with it. Ann Mary tried a piece of junk jewelry instead and it looked just like something from the fifties. So we're looking for a better button. I may rework the neckband so I can make a larger buttonhole.

I brought the kit for the Christmas stocking home with me. I'm not looking forward to this. There's a small amount of intarsia on the leg part so I have to do that area flat. I have one student who keeps telling me she wants to learn intarsia when she actually means fair isle. So maybe I'll do that part at the shop so she can see the difference.

Another slow day at Skein. Ann Mary knit a scarf since there were no customers, well not many. I spent most of the time kibbitzing. Hand holding mostly. One of my students is starting a new project with some yarn she got at a fiber fair a couple of months ago. We're adapting a pattern to make it work with the yarn. So when I got home last night I worked up some rough directions to get her started. We will fine tune it as we go.

I fixed the error on the Interlacements top. It turned out to be a dropped stitch. Somehow I had managed to snag the top of a stitch two rows below. Anyway I only had to rip about one and a half rows and then I could see what I had done and was able to repair it with my handy dandy crochet hook. So I worked a few more rows until my arms were hurting too much to continue.

I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of a giant garter stitch shawl right now. Just one monotonous row after another. I guess it's not exactly boring but just something I go through once in a while until I get to the fun parts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

I forgot to take my needles with me to Skein yesterday so I couldn't quite finish the shop sample. But I did get it put together. I decided to just crochet all the seams and it looks pretty good. Crochet has some good points.

I finished the back of the Interlacements top last night and got 10 or 12 rows done on the front. I have to rip 3 or 4 of those rows since there's a very weird loose stitch in the middle of the cable, on the back side, that I don't know what caused. It's not a dropped stitch. Looks more like a snag. But I can't get it to disappear so I'll just have to tink back to that point. This yarn is too tricky to just rip so I'll be going one stitch at a time.

Extremely quiet day at Skein yesterday but I did teach one new knitter. It was nice to be able to focus on just one person. And she's going to do just fine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Some pictures I should have posted yesterday

I took these pictures this morning. Yesterday it was just too hot to deal with it.

Some of the new Rio I got at Velona's yesterday. I really like how this yarn feels and knits, even though I've only made one small swatch with it. The colors are pretty accurate, at least from here. I like the slightly murky cast that the colors have. (On sales for $5.75 per skein. I got 10.)

I also got these at Velona's. I'm just getting these yarns in case I ever start to knit socks again. I hadn't seen the "one pair per skein" put up before. ($12 per skein)

The finished multidirectional scarf. Well, it's still not washed but since I was already taking pictures I thought I'd just get it over with. I'll let you know if it gets any softer when I get around to washing and blocking.

The knitting on the current shop project was completed around 11 o'clock last night. I'm planning to sew it together today while I'm at Skein. There's a garter stitch border around the bottom and on the sleeves. Not sure how to mattress stitch garter stitch so I hope I can find a good reference, or that Ann Mary knows how.

Monday, August 18, 2003

There are chores that need to be done but I'm not going to do them. Not today anyway. I've been wanting to go to the Happy Hooker #2 in Studio City. So I called Carol to see if she'd like to join me. Got there only to discover they're closed on Monday. I had been assured at Happy Hooker #1 that they were open. Oh, well.

So we went to Velona's in Anaheim Hills. I got some more Rio in a sort of Spring color way. And two skeins of Regia.

It was a lot of driving just to go to some yarn shops. But we had a good time and went to lunch at Shakey's. So now I'm home, wondering if I should try to get the laundry done.

I finished the multidirectional scarf last night. There were about fifteen inches of yarn left. Whew! I still have to wash and block it, after I weave in a few ends. I think the Noro Kureyon is a little too scratchy for a scarf but maybe it'll be better after it's washed. I did enjoy the pattern though.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Thursday's confusion gave way to a very pleasant day at Skein on Friday. The shop was quite busy, even though it was 105 outside. I worked most of the afternoon with one of my continuing students. Got her started on her second sweater. I think she now understands why a gauge swatch is so important. She said "I teach 7th grade math but I totally don't get this whole tension/gauge thing. Don't tell anybody." We ended up having to go down two needle sizes.

Mendy, whom I haven't seen in a couple of weeks, came by for a quick conference. She just got back from Alberqueque. I forgot to ask her if she went to see the folks at Mystical Creations. She's coming back this morning, bringing her aunt and cousin, so maybe I'll remember then. Plus we need to start planning another yarn shop crawl.

I'm still trying to finish the current shop sample. Didn't get much done on it yesterday. Just too busy. I worked some more on the multidirectional scarf. I'm just finishing the second skein so I should be done in a few days. Ann Mary wants me to knit a Christmas stocking next. We have some kits from Babajoes. Not looking forward to that.

The new Rowan magazine is selling out quickly. I hope we can get some more. I still haven't done more than flip through it. And the newest Bouton d'Or magazine has some interesting things in it. The translations are a little awkward though.

Friday, August 15, 2003


No, no. Not that blackout. I'm talking about the one where black is out. I spent most of yesterday afternoon working with a new knitter whose first project is a pullover from one of the Rowan Biggy Yarn mags. It's black and worked on size 17 needles. I've shown her a couple of times how to mattress stitch the side seams. Well that just didn't work out. She had some problems figuring out where the bar between the stitches was. And so I took it out a couple of times and helped her get one seam done. Between the black yarn and the loose, irregular stitches it was a major hassle. We both agreed that she would never make anything else in black.

Sometimes I could just shake Ann Mary. I realize that she's trying to run a business and that sales are essential. But I do think she should be a little more careful about what she sells to first time knitters. And hardly anyone wants to make a plain old Encore scarf when there are all those fantastic scarves on display. But if you can't tell a stitch from a sideboard it's just asking for trouble, and frustration. But selling $45 worth of glitzy versus $10 of worsted weight is too tempting. I spend hours undoing some of the disasters. And many of those potential knitters will not be back. There are, of course, exceptions.

I am not tyrannical about fixing errors unless they affect the durability of the piece. But just because it's fluffy and shimmery doesn't mean it's okay to ignore a dropped stitch, or an increase for that matter. (Man! I'm cranky today.)

We are still in the clutches of a heatwave although it's supposed to only be 96 today. Surprisingly we've been pretty busy all week at Skein. Yesterday was particularly frantic. Four students all at the same time, each with her own confusion. But everyone was patient and it all worked out. We finally got the newest Rowan magazine so they all had something to distract them while they waited their turn. (I thought one of the slugs on the front cover was amusing. "Over thirty designs" can be read two ways but I don't think they meant age.)

Thursday, August 14, 2003

I know. I said I was on a break from sock knitting but I forgot that I do still have this pair in progress. I haven't worked on them for a few days because of the new shop sample and the multidirectional scarf. These are worked on size 1 needles, my first ever, and are taking forvever. I'm just about ready to start the toe shaping of sock number one.

We are getting a lot of new customers. Another yarn shop in our area is referring them to us. I don't know what's going on there but I suspect that that shop is getting ready to close. The owner has been ill for some time now and has already cut back on the shop hours. And I know she has already stopped buying from some of the major suppliers. So we're getting people in Skein who have never been in. The ambience at Skein is so different from the other place that they seem a little intimidated.

Skein is very tidy. Ann Mary can't stand to have anything out of place. It's making her a little nutso right now that we don't have enough shelf space for all the yarns that are coming in. Yesterday she told me that she hates it that she may have to lose some of the tidiness, at least for a while. There's so much stuff in the back room that it's dangerous to walk through there. I don't even know what all there is.

Last night I came home to a parade of ants. How did they manage to find that pizza box in the trash? They have been summarily dealt with.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Drumming, drumming, drumming his fingers on one of the pattern books he waits for his wife to finish browsing the yarn shop. His wife has a sort of head bobbing twitch going which is probably a health issue. He's making it very clear to not only his wife but everyone else that he thinks this whole thing is too much for him to have to put up with and she'd damn well better get on with it so he can get back to his stuff that, in case you didn't know, is much more important than anything she could want to do. She, with an apologetic glance, says she'll be back some other time. They leave. Ann Mary says, "No wonder she has a twitch."

A not-so-young-anymore lady comes in. "I need some fuzzy stuff to put on the edge of something I'm making." We look at all the fuzzy stuff and finally select some Trendsetter Vision as being just what she's been looking for. "Oh," she says. "I want to learn how to knit! Do you think I could learn it? I don't think I could but I'll love to know how!" We assure her that she can learn, just come in and take a lesson. She promises she'll be back. And sure enough she came back. And sure enough, she can't learn. I'm thinking maybe I should tell her about all the four year olds that learn but decide that's not going to help. (It also doesn't help that another customer keeps telling her that it took her five years to learn how to cast on.) By this time she's nearly in tears. I think she's too distracted by her surroundings. The shop is very busy and Ann Mary isn't there to help. We finally agree to try again another day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Of socks and scarves and synchronicity

Here's the last of the socks. I'm definitely on break from socks for the time being.

This is the one pair I haven't already posted a picture of. I managed to get them to match except for the toes. I had to go back to the beginning of the second skein to finish and part of the color sequence was missing.

This is the back of my current shop project. A short sleeved cardigan in Spettacolo from Stahl. The color is actually a little lighter than in the photo but you can see the kind of blue it is. I'm almost done with the back but I've found a new distraction.

I don't remember where I first saw this scarf but when I first saw it I thought, "Hmm, looks interesting." Then I saw it again on Matt's blog. Tried to link to the pattern then but for some reason I couldn't do it. Then, just yesterday, I saw it again on Amy's blog. It was too much to resist.

A few days ago I was reading Fervid Design where she talks about noticing how related events show up and act like a signpost for something new. Not to make too much of a point of it, but this was something like that. After seeing this pattern so many times I felt I really wanted to make it. And I had three skeins of Noro Kureyon that I had purchased a year or so ago (for a project that didn't turn out all that great) so thought now is the time. This is not the most felicitous of color ways but it does show the stripe direction quite well. I made the scarf only six inches wide. If I do it again I'll probably go for about ten. I think this will be about five feet long.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Another Monday

I took a couple of pictures of some of the socks I've been knitting but they're so blurry that I couldn't tell myself what they were supposed to be. And now my batteries are defunct so I have to go get some more and maybe then I'll have enough time to see what I'm doing before the camera shuts itself off.

Lisa came to visit last night. It's been a little over two weeks since I saw her so I was really happy. We had a good catch-up session and then we went to dinner at Fuji's so she could get her sushi fix. I don't eat seafood, cooked or raw, so I had some tonkatsu, beef teriyaki and gyoza.

I finally gave in and turned on the air conditioner. Poor old thing is doing its best to cope. It is helping a lot with the humidity. Should help the yarn flow a little better when I get to my knitting later today.

I didn't get much done on the new cardigan as I thought I would. We weren't very busy but I did spend about an hour helping Carol select the colors for her new crochet project. We didn't have enough Cotton Classic in all the colors (six) that she needs for the coat so we played around with alternate colorways using the yarns that we did have enough of (of which we did have enough).

We also had a lot of fun talking about the recall election coming up here. Such a charade!

So it's Monday again, already. I have no plans. I need to go to the market but I think I can postpone that.

Sunday, August 10, 2003


As Stasia would say, today I'm grateful that Ann Mary got the air conditioning fixed. Seems that all that was needed was a new filter. It has suddenly turned into Arizona here. For me, anything over 85 degrees is hot. It's been 104 or so for the past few days. And very dry. So sitting in newly restored air conditioning yesterday was superb.

It was an unusually slow day, especially for a Saturday. So I had a chance to start a new store project, a simple, short sleeved jacket. The original pattern is a Jaeger using their Celeste ribbon. I'm using Spettacolo from Stahl. Instead of the size 13's I'm using 10.5 and my swatch was right on. However, I seem to be knitting looser in the actual jacket so I'm ending up at least a size larger than I planned. Oh well, it's a sample and doesn't have to fit anyone. I'm just past the armhole decreases so I hope to finish the back today.

The Spettacolo is a yarn that Ann Mary got last year. I made a top for Lisa using the dark wine color. We also have it in a denim blue and natural. It's a blend of linen, viscose and nylon. I really like the yarn and working with it. But I seem to be the only one. Maybe the $9.50 per ball price is keeping people away. Ann Mary doesn't believe in marking anything down so we're hoping that this simple little jacket will attract some folks.

I traded some of my jalapenos with Mendy's husband Robert. He's apparently inordinately fond of hot peppers of all kinds but especially jalapenos. Judging from his reaction I'd say my jalapenos were impressive. He brought me a couple of serranos as well as two large jalapenos. I ate one of the jalapenos last night. It was very warm but not hot. I have heard that as the peppers get older, larger they loose some of their heat. And this was a large pepper. I finally have peppers on the the purple plant but they're a pale green. I guess I'll just wait and see what happens.

Today my Mom would have been 86. It's been a little over four years since she died. Even though her last five years were clouded with dementia she was still enjoyable to be with, just a little unsure about who I was toward the end. Not all the people I love were born in August but Lisa, my older brother and my Mom were. So August is pretty hot.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Farmisht Friday

So, I just had to do it. If you haven't discovered this blog yet you really should schlepp over there and get a giggle. While I'm not exactly farmisht today I am somewhat bedraggled and tired.

I'm sure I'll get used to the new schedule soon and not notice that I'm now busier than I was before I retired. Some days at the shop are just plain ol' boring and others are too exciting. Yesterday was somewhere in between. Too busy to finish the scarf. Well, I did finish the knitting but still have to cut and attach the fringe. I only managed another eight rows on the Reggio socks.

Rene and my faux grandson came in for a few hours yesterday. What a great kid! He's funny already. He's figured out how to make raspberries and how to put his foot in his mouth. Ah, Nicholas! you make me feel good.

Rene is struggling with the Ole baby sweater from the latest Knitters. As near as I can figure the pattern is totally flawed. Has anyone else tried this pattern? There's got to be something wrong with that collar. The photo just doesn't jive with the instructions. I checked the Knitters website (it's mostly trial and error to find anything there) but there was no correction or clarification that I could find. There were a couple of similar complaints, however, so at least I'm not alone in my confusion.

My list of daily reads just keeps getting longer. For example, Sean's blog. I like his wit and his page is a visual fest. Sometimes I get blog envy. So many talented people. I can't even muster the courage to change the colors in my header. Oh well.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

It's Thursday then

Only a couple more days and you'll all have the weekend to go to the yarn store of your choice and spend lots of money. We're still waiting for the Rowan and Jaeger yarns to show up but other than that we're ready. Yesterday was one of the best days we've had so far this month. So I didn't get the scarf finished but Ann Mary liked it. I still have about six inches to go and then the fringe.

I worked up a couple of patterns using Sweater Wizard this morning but ran out of ink so had to go to Best Buy and pick up some more cartridges. I had a $20 gift card there that I'd been saving for a couple of years. I'm glad I had it. Why is ink so expensive? But the patterns are now printed out and I'll go over them this afternoon with the customer. Sometimes I really wish they'd just use the specified yarn so we don't have all this tweeking to do.

Went to dinner last night with the Plymouth Yarn rep for our area. Lots of fun catching up on what's been going on in the knitting yarns world. Got to see a couple of yarns that Skein does not carry or that have not come in yet. They seem to be getting more fashion conscious in their colorways and types of yarn they carry. Even their Encore is getting some better colors.

I know it's still hot in much of the country but I'm seeing hints of fall approaching. Can't believe it's only a couple of months away. It's my favorite time of year. So I'm really excited by all the new yarns and patterns. I must resist. Too many things still in process for the summer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Well, it's Wednesday!

For most of the world Wednesday is hump day. Almost the weekend. For me, it's just the beginning. Actually the second day of my week. I've had enough trouble keeping track of what day it is without moving the start of my work week up a day.

It wasn't all that busy yesterday but there was some traffic. Three brand new customers! That's always fun. One of them is a knitter returning to the craft after twenty years in limbo. She came in for some help on a scarf/cowl she had started while on vacation in Canada. About ten inches into the thing she began to feel something wasn't quite right. You guessed it! She had twisted her cast on row and now had a lovely coil in her cowl. I tried to be gentle when I told her there was no solution except to start over. Didn't seem to bother her too much as I think she had already realized that. It seems that the original cast on was done by the shop owner where she bought the yarn. She's also using a 32" needle for a scarf that's only 24" around. Ann Mary didn't have the right size needle in stock so we just forged ahead using what she had. So she's back on track, having learned how to cast on and how to hold the needles and the yarn so she doesn't keep losing stitches off the points. And we sold her some shaggy yarn and a pattern for a top.

Another of the new folks is just moving here from DC. It took a while for her to really warm up to us but before it was all over she was eating out of our hands. I hope the special rush order to Brown Sheep goes well. Otherwise it might be biting the hand that feeds you.

And the last one is a non-knitting fiberista. She's making crocheted garters for a couple of friends to wear in their weddings. One of the brides was with her. I think I'll be teaching her in a few days. And the fiberista promises to be back. She has a weakness for soft, fuzzy yarn. We have lots of that.

I didn't work on the Reggio socks at all. I brought home some new yarn to transform into a scarf, the idea being to show off how the yarn looks when it's worked up. This is some of the most ill-behaved yarn I've ever worked with. Probably it doesn't like the size 17 needles. I cast on 80 stitches for a long ways scarf and worked about 8 rows before I decided that the yarn just looked like a bag of brambles. Ripped it out and cast on 15 stitches and am using a drop stitch pattern. It looks better but I'm not sure the yarn is really meant to be used this way. I'm at about the halfway point. I'll show it to Ann Mary and see if she wants me to finish it. Oh! the yarn is Quattro from Austermann (a ribbony sort of yarn that's very easy to pierce with the needles) and Electra from Plymouth, one of those tufted yarns that several other companies have introduced this year, sort of like the railroad yarns but without one of the tracks.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Tuesday tsuris

I got my car back last night. Another $1000.00 US. I really like my car but it's beginning to become a major drain. However, it is all mine and with this latest maintenance it should be in good shape for a few more years.

Wish I could say the same for myself. I've been trying to lose a few pounds but life just keeps getting in the way. So many parties, so little time. So I live on Slim Fast when I'm not having pizza or pasta. Or chips and salsa.

I didn't finish many chores yesterday. But I got a lot done on the Reggio sock. I have hopes of finishing it today. I did put away all the remaining sock yarn that I had stacked on my coffee table. So that temptation is out of sight. I will go back to the Interlacements top. (Repeat after me. I will go back to the Intelacements top.) I really need to finish this before I start anything else. Lisa's birthday is at the end of the month, even though this is not specifically for her birthday, it would make a nice extra for her. I'm hoping that having a completion date will motivate me to get it done.

Ann Mary has a couple of shop projects in mind for me. I haven't seen the pattern yet but she says one of them is a simple top. The second one is a scarf from one of the new Berroco pattern books in a chevron stitch. That one looks pretty straightforward. So those will be my Skein knitting for a while.

Well, off to see if I can find the vacuum.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Monday miscellaneous

I thought by now I'd have something to blog about. Well, that's just not going to happen. I've been spending all my spare time reading HP5. I finished it last night. Maybe I'll be able to do some knitting now.

I'm officially working six days at Skein now. Even though it's still part time I'm spending about 36 hours a week there. It's a good thing that I enjoy myself. That's also about the only time I have for knitting. I do get interrupted a lot, of course, but I'm gradually working my way through the Wildfoote socks. I think I've mentioned before that I only work on projects at Skein that Skein has the inventory for.

Ann Mary is still trying to make room for all the new fall yarns. Most of what has been received is now on shelves in the storage area, except the Rowan and Jaeger which haven't arrived yet. There's no more room on the sales floor for more shelves so some of the summer yarns have to be put into storage. We rearranged the eyelash and glitzy yarns on Saturday and added the new Spice and Flutter and Dazzle. I'm really tired of all these yarns but they do move quickly.

Today is my one full day off so I'm trying to get laundry and house cleaning done. Took my car to the garage for another major service. And I tried the jalapenos. Hot! Very hot!

Friday, August 01, 2003

Rabbit! Rabbit!

It ain't over 'til it's over!

Yesterday was the final day of the big July clearance sale at Bishop's Yarns in Chatsworth. After much juggling and rearranging of schedules we finally found a day when we could make it. And a good day it was. I didn't personally buy a whole lot. Some Brown Sheep Kaleidoscope Handpaint Cotton in a couple of color ways. Marked down to $2.50 per hank. Mendy, however, cleaned out a lot of their stock. We were really worried that since it was the final day there wouldn't be much left to chose from. There was yarn aplenty. So the July Clearance Sale is over. But we got coupons for the August Clearance Sale! So I guess it's not really over, just renamed. Don't know if we'll make it back though.

We got to Chatsworth earlier than we had planned so Bishop's wasn't open yet. We wandered around a little and came across Happy Hooker*. I'd received an email a few days before from a knitter who shops there sometimes. She described it as a little shabby. Well, that was a kindness. While the shop is mostly knitting yarns it also has a lot of other crafty stuff. Old needlepoint canvas, crochet and some kind of Japanese embroidery that I don't remember the name of. The knitting yarns are arranged by color rather that fiber. So if you want something blue just go to the blue section and try to find a yarn you like. Most of the yarn is on the floor. I thought there'd been a small earthquake but it seems that's just their style. I found some yarn for Barbara that I had been delegated to locate. It's a perfect color match for the go-with yarn I had taken along as a reference. I don't know what it is with the shops in Chatsworth but they're a lot cheaper than the shops around here. A lot!

*I'm not making this up. They have a second location with the same name and it's a lot closer to home. Plus they're open on Monday unlike shops in my area, including Skein.